Richard Thomas

Richard Thomas


The primary aim of my research is to define the thermodynamic activities of the Halogens (F, Cl, Br and I) in silicate melts. Although they are typically found as minor components in many magmatic and hydrothermal systems they are thought to greatly influence the chemical and physical properties of a melt, the genesis and evolution of magmas and their eruptive processes. In an attempt to understand and model the properties of a melt, the fluids they exsolve and the glasses they form, a detailed understanding of the underlying thermodynamic properties is vital.  Therefore, this project aims to develop a novel methodology to define the activity of halogens in silicate melts at relevant conditions. This will shed light on both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial geochemical processes such as on Mars, volatility, planetary differentiation and evolution.  The changing behaviour of halogens may also have vast influences on the dynamics of a melt and thus will influence magma dynamics and the transport of matter.
– I am funded through the NERC Environmental Research Doctoral Training Programme (DTP).

Supervised by Professor Bernard J Wood, Dr Andrew Matzen, and Dr Kate Kiseeva.


Previous Work: Exploration geochemist for 4-5 years working in Siberian Russia, India, Turkey, Nepal, Africa, Ireland, and the UK on several deposit types.

Previous Education: University College London MSc (Distinction in all modules) Attaining the highest overall grade at MSc level & First Class Honours BSc (Hons) – attaining the Nicholas Marvin Costello Award for the best overall academic grade in BSc Geosciences.

Dobson, D. P., Thomas, R. W., & Mitchell, T. M. (2018). Diffusion Profiles Around Quartz Clasts as Indicators of the Thermal History of Pseudotachylytes. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 19(11), 4329–4341.